“Environmental protection is practiced for protecting the natural environment for the benefit of both the environment and humans. Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, activity of environmental movements has created awareness of the various environmental problems. There is no agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and even scientific dishonesty occurs, so protection measures are occasionally debated.”
“Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).
Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.
In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper or used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so “recycling” of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries, or gold from circuit boards), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).”
It is up to us as Master Naturalists to do everything we can to help protect our natural environments, by being well informed and exercising good judgement in the choices of what we buy or do, and how we educate and influence others. This page is intended to help us in that effort.
Earth Day Ad Hoc Committee information
- See Blog posts on Earth Day 2019 setting up and for the day of the event. And some additional photos by others.
- Ad Hoc environmental committee
- 2018-11-30 Environment Committee First Meeting Report
- 2019-01-18 Environment Committee Earth Day Meeting Report
- Proposed Goals, by Kathey Lester 1/10/19
- 2019-02-13 Environment Committee Earth Day Interim Meeting Report
- 2019- 03-02 Environment Committee Earth Day Meeting Report
- 2019- 04-20 Environment Committee Earth Day Event Report – final report on 2019.
Chapter AT and other presentations
- Nov 8 2018 chapter AT – Albatross and Plastics
- Jan 10 2019 chapter AT – by Joyce Conner Rethinking Recycling
- Jan 10 2019 chapter AT – Turn Discarded Paper into Gift Boxes (coming)
Recycling Resources in our area, summarized
- Walmart Bryan Drive In Recycling
- Twin Oaks Landfill BVSWMA
- Twin Oaks Household Hazardous Waste BVSWMA
- BVRI Adriance Lab Road TAMU
Personal projects shared with all
- From Lisa Milewski:
How to make a “no sew” shirt bag from your favorite shirt.
Shirt Bag Instructions
Make No Sew Shirt Bag presentation
- From Joyce Conner:
- From Mike Conner: Plastic Number Guide
- Learn the codes for identifying plastics – safe, use with caution, never use. (PDF for printing)
- From Joyce Conner: Reuse Empty Bottles:
- Learn how to reuse empty aromatic scent bottles Reuse Empty Bottles
- From Don Travis: Interesting article from Discover Magazine on “Nine Well Intentioned Efforts That Aren’t Acutally Environmentally Friendly”.
Websites of Interest (in addition to all the links in Intro above)
- Expanded Polystyrene (EPS): Ultimate Guide on Foam Insulation Material website. Explore more about this polymer and find out its benefits, properties, recyclability etc. in detail.
- Fifteen things you should never throw in Recycle Bins, from Reader’s Digest: https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/things-not-recyclable/
- Recycling Basics by the EPA – https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics
- Interesting Recycling Facts – “You can make a difference” – https://recyclingfacts.org/
- More Interesting Recycling Facts – “A Recycling Revolution” – http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html
- Ten Ways to Improve Your Recycling – https://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-recycling.html
Excellent YouTube videos:
- “How Recycling Works” YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7GMpjx2jDQ
- “What Happens After Recycled is Collected?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4LZwCDaoQM
- “Recycling at US Largest Facility, NYC” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Rc8oTOtd8
- Interesting Reuse ideas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6U4wQiBWeA
- Green Tyranny, in the name of protecting the earth, John Stossel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5cJF9W157Y This is another set of views we all must understand. Recycling, alternate energy, global warming and more and what a lot of others are saying. Released April 2013. About 45 minutes but worth viewing.
- Recycling is in trouble, and it might be your fault – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/20/weak-markets-make-consumers-wishful-recycling-big-problem/100654976/
- Massive Floating Boom for the Pacific – https://www.npr.org/2018/09/11/646724291/a-massive-floating-boom-is-supposed-to-clean-up-the-pacific-can-it-work
- Could mutant enzymes solve the world’s plastic problem? – https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/04/let-them-eat-waste/558233/
- www.AlbatrossTheFilm.com A Chris Jordan film. View the 3 minute trailer, or the whole 1 hour 37 minute film.
- Also see Plastic Pollution Coalition website, and EPlasticomata website (come up in Spanish but click on translate in most browsers)
Stay tuned for more…